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How to Safely Store Books in a Storage Unit

February 27, 2017

There are many reasons why you might need to move collections of books into storage, such as because you are moving into a new home, you have no need for them but don’t want to sell them, or you’ve simply run out of space for all of them. Regardless of whether you love your books or couldn't care less about them, it is important to protect them to keep them in the best condition possible. By following these tips, you can successfully protect your books in storage while keeping them organized and ready to be discovered again in the future.

How to Prepare Your Books for Storage

First, to prepare your book collection for storage, you need to make sure each of your books is clean. There’s no sense in storing your book collection with a bunch of dirt and dust. Then, to protect them from gathering dust while in storage, wrap each book in a clean cloth. As you do so, take inventory of what books you are storing and how many in order to keep them organized in storage boxes. For instance, you may want to put all your fiction novels in one box and your non-fiction in another. Or if you have a large collection of a specific book, like the Nancy Drew series, you would likely want to keep all the books in the collection together in one or more labeled boxes.

Use a Climate-Controlled Unit

Climate-controlled storage units can control the coolness and heat levels of a storage unit. This is especially beneficial for storing books, which are prone to aging from the air. The ideal environment for your books is to keep the temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, as fluctuating temperatures can be extremely damaging to books.

Load Your Books Into the Unit

The inventory you took as you wrapped your books should help you figure out how best to organize your collection. Once they are all in boxes, you should take care to load them into your storage unit without causing present or future damage to them. First, put down some elevated, wooden pallets on the floor of your unit, just in case of flooding. Then, arrange your boxes so that they stack perfectly on top of each other without being prone to tipping. Don’t stack your boxes too high, though. Keep them within easy reaching distance, no higher than your shoulders.

Once your book collection is safely tucked into your storage unit, be sure not to forget about them. You should check on them occasionally to dust the boxes off and make sure no leaks or flooding have affected the storage unit.